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Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Night I Spoke at Metro State University, or … and That’s When I Discovered I Wasn’t Wearing Pants


I couldn’t be more prepared.  I have, after all, both brushed my teeth and bathed, so tonight is looking pretty sweet.

I am driving to my first speaking engagement, the first one I will do that does not consist of reading from stapled, large-font-ed sheets of paper.  The first one where there is no chance of an adult beverage being served, nor books for sale, nor someone I know making a well-intentioned but obscene gesture at me in the hopes of freaking me out whilst I am a’stage. 

The drive to the school is interminable – and far too much of it is at 30 miles per hour. 

Thirty miles an hour?  Did you know there’s a 30 miles per hour now?!

My car is rolling its eyes at me, I can tell.

Thirty.  I am in agony.  What a ridiculously difficult rate of speed to maintain.  I’ve got a woman walking a dog about to pass me – on the right, thank you very much –  a guy on foot trying to hand me a pamphlet about “the power of positivity”, and a man on a bike coming over a hill growing larger and larger in my rear-view mirror.

I am only marginally exaggerating. 

Maybe I’m nervous.

And then I belch.

And I go pale.

It had been so long that I’d forgotten… 

Look.  Plenty of people have nervous habits.  Am I right?  I mean, what I do is not uncommon.  It’s not, as my friend Mary would say, a heinous habit

But it appears it’s a habit nonetheless.

I swallow air when I’m nervous.

Panicking, I look at the clock on the dashboard.  Roughly half an hour until I speak – when did I start noticing that I was nervous?  Noon?  Was that why I didn’t finish my sandwich? 

Holy Hannah, have I been swallowing air since noon?

I belch nervously as I spot the sign that points me to the parking lot I’ll want.

I belch as I find a spot.

I belch again as I grab my purse, my handouts.

And I belch yet again as I walk through the front doors.

Hi, I practice as I move through the double doors, my name is Pearl– urp – and I write the blog Pearl, Why You Little…


36 comments:

Shelly said...

As far as social indiscretions go, belching and not wearing pants are more at the middle of the spectrum.

Come to Texas. We've just opened up a stretch of freeway where the speed limit is 85 MPH, which means most people will be going more than 90.

savannah said...

is this going to be on youtube, sugarpie? ;~) xoxoxoxox

Pearl said...

Shelly, 85 MPH?? Really? I think that speed might actually frighten me!

savannah, :-) wouldn't that be lovely?

Jacquelineand.... said...

It could have been worse? All the air you swallowed could have made it out the other end whilst you were in a pantsless condition?

What is the sound of one hand clapping? Who cares when compared with the sound of one butt chee.....okay, I'm stopping right now.

Pearl said...

Jacquiline, don't think the thought hadn't occurred to me!

George Turnbull said...

One question:

Do you do a) normal burps or b) nasty 'call HAZMAT team' smelly burps?

If b) then you are in trouble!


Vicus Scurra said...

I will now picture you as Sir Les Patterson, and as you may not have heard of the gentleman, I will let you search youtube for him.
I misread your opening paragraph, and thought you had brushed both your teeth, but then I re-read it, before I started calling you Pearl-Bob.
If you need someone to make obscene gestures, I will do that for free. I am very good at it.

esbboston said...

Did your speaking go okay? We're they impressed to have someone as famous as you? If its any comfort I don't drive that fast in my part of Texas, my my, 85 MPH. You can't enjoy the scenery at 100 mph, much less text.

Pearl said...

George, my belching is quite harmless, really. I'm just not all that good at it (cannot belch on command, for instance).

Vicus, Les Patterson, eh? Excellent -- now I have something to do during work hours! And I would love to see you in the audience, gesticulating away. :-)

esb, I know, right? How is one to apply make-up at that rate of speed?!

Stephen Hayes said...

When I speak in front of people I don't belch; I get sweaty palms. I can't decide which is worse.

anna Sonata said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pearl said...

Stephen, have you seen me stifle a burp? :-)

Mitchell is Moving said...

I had a friend who could (proudly) belch the birthday song. But she never did it at a speaking engagement. You're my idol!

Ms Sparrow said...

Are you teaching a class at Metro State? Why haven't you told us?

esbboston said...

Make message, text up, AND right a blog! (See? I can' teven write at zero miles per gaLLon.)

Leenie said...

Sooo... was I reading so slow (30 mph is about my reading speed) that I missed the part about the NO PANTS? You can swallow a lot of air going that slow especially when that lady brings her dog over to pee on your tires.

Susan Williams said...

I left you a comment earlier this morning, but I think I must have forgotten to hit "publish".
Anyway, after reading this funny post, I was reminded of Foster Brooks, the perpetually "drunk" comedian on the Dean Martin show, who had a terrible problem with oral flatulence.

Enjoy.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzAXb7qCCAo

bill lisleman said...

As long as the smell of digested beer doesn't accompany your belch. It's not like you were asked to sing the national anthem.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Do NOT try to stifle a belch, you will explode through your ears. I know, because I've done it. On the other hand, it will cure hiccups.
This is so exciting. Our Pearl on stage, charming the audience. How I wish I was there.

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

But Pearl...urp! I bet...urp...you did great...urp ANYWAY! Urp!
(Even though there is no video to prove it. Grrr...)

Eva Gallant said...

I think it's really cool that your were speaking...belches or not!

Ian Lidster said...

As far as eruptions go a good belch is preferable to another more humiliating expulsion, when you think about it. In my dreams I am often in public venues minus pants. What does that mean? Anyway, dollink, I'd love to have heard you speak.

JohnD said...

In Australia all roads are speed restricted. Urban areas (built areas) have speed limits of 30 mph (school zones 24 mph). Highways are 62 mph and Freeways are 68 mph. No speeds in excess of 68 mph are permitted. Like Texas, we have great expanses of lightly trafficked long, open roads through rural areas but still restricted to 63 mph.

Roshni AaMom said...

I bet you were fabulous!! And, a belch as your opening statement would be just appropriate!!

klahanie said...

Hi Pearl,

Yes, it's me, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star, recently upgraded to superstar status! :)

I'm a bit confused about "pants". I 'pants', but didn't know you could wear pants. And with that, I shall now go belch in my human's face!

Pawsitive wishes, Penny :)

Gigi said...

You mean to tell me that in a room full of tech-savvy young people not ONE of them thought to take a video of you speaking and post it for the world to see and marvel over?! I worry for the future. I really do.

jenny_o said...

Oh! You need to tell us more! This is excellent :)

Joanne Noragon said...

Yea, you just hung Metro State University on a blog then left us hanging. The hell with the belching pants, tell us about MSU.

Linda O'Connell said...

I have speaking engagement on Saturday. Now I am fearful of releasing air.

Jocelyn said...

Well, it coulda been farting, right?

Small blessings.

Speaking of our bodily emissions and nerves: I'm in Year 22 of teaching, and I still spend the first day of classes dashing for the toilet.

You are welcome.

chlost said...

Wait. You were passing out hand-outs? I didn't get one. Could you pass one over to me?
I think that at Metro State is definitely a burp-worthy occasion. I am sure you did a wonderful job. But it should have been video-taped! For all of us.

Rose L said...

I guess if I had a choice I would rather belch than fart! I once got all dressed up to go to a poetry reading and when I arrived I realized I had forgotten to put on my bra!! Even though it was rather warm, I kept my sweater on.

The Elephant's Child said...

How I wish I could have been there. Will you gain another kazillion followers here at Pearl Central?

the walking man said...

As a recovering microphone whore I have absolutely no inhibitions about gassing my audience. Hell most of them deserve the smell to go with the poetry, they are after all mainly musicians. I do wear pants though, it's the underwear that I "hahahaha nervously" forget.

Raymond Alexander Kukkee said...

Pearl, I really liked the fact that a woman walking a dog is passing you. Nervous or what. The observer of minutiae in slow motion. Perfect. Burp.




jabblog said...

Hope it went well . . . and belching is much to be preferred to the other way of releasing unwanted/excess air/gas . . I speak from experience *blush*